[With Arnold Schwarzeneggar on the right and Gray Davis on the left - although the would-be Governator actually ran against fellow Republican State Senator Tom McClintock, Davis' Lieutenant-Governor Cruz Bustamante, blogger Arianna Huffington, former child star Gary Coleman and porn star Mary Carey as well as about 130 others - the 2003 Recall election was one of the strangest on record. Even for California.]
336 CE - Pope Mark died, leaving the papacy vacant; his successor, Julius I, would not be elected until February 337 CE.
1542 - Explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo discovered Santa Catalina Island off the coast of California.
1769 - Captain James Cook arrived in New Zealand during his famed First Voyage, heading only the second European expedition to the islands, more than a century after Abel Tasman; while in the vicinity Cook mapped the entire coastline, making only minor errors.
1840 - Willem II became King of the Netherlands when, following the loss of territory brought on by the Belgian revolution and the scandal of his desire to marry the Catholic Belgian Henrietta d'Oultremont, his father Willem I abdicated.
1868 - Cornell University was inaugurated in Ithaca, New York.
1886 - Spain abolished slavery in Cuba.
1919 - Dutch airline KLM was founded.
1944 - An uprising at Birkenau concentration camp resulted in the destruction of one of its crematoria; it had been coordinated with an Allied air strike and a revolt of Polish civilians at Auschwitz.
1949 - The German Democratic Republic - better known as East Germany - was created.
1950 - Tibet was annexed by China, an illegal occupation which persists to this day.
1952 - American Bandstand debuted on Philadelphia's WFIL-TV (now WPVI-TV); the show was originally called Bandstand, and its first host was Bob Horn.
1955 - Allen Ginsberg gave his first public reading of Howl at San Francisco's Six Gallery.
1982 - Cameron Mackintosh's musical Cats opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre where it ran for 7,485 performances before closing on September 10th, 2000.
1985 - The cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked by four Palestinian terrorists, in an action coordinated by Abu Abbas; during their three-day occupation of the vessel they shot passenger Leon Klinghoffer - a wheelchair-bound stroke victim who was nearly 70 - and threw him overboard to die simply because he was Jewish.
1996 - Fox News Channel was launched.
1998 - Matthew Shepard was found staked to a fence outside Laramie, Wyoming, having been robbed and savagely beaten by Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney simply because he was gay.
2001 - The US and the UK invaded Afghanistan.
2002 - The US government, with the knowledge and cooperation of the RCMP, ordered Syrian-born Canadian citizen Maher Arar deported to Syria knowing he was not a terrorist and that he'd be tortured there; not only was he repeatedly refused counsel in American custody, when he was returned to Syria he was indeed tortured and held without charge for 10 months before being returned to Canada, at which time he proceeded to expose the War on Terror for the tyranny in liberty's clothing that it is. Both Canada and Syria have cleared him of all charges; the US won't.
2003 - Gray Davis was recalled as Governor of California, only to be replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The recall effort was the fifth in California history - efforts to recall governors Pat Brown, Ronald Reagan, Jerry Brown, and Pete Wilson had all failed - but only the first successful one in the Golden State; the only other successfully recalled governor in American history was North Dakota's Lynn Frazier in 1921.
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